By Africa Intelligence,
As the American government has distanced itself from South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir since the military-political crisis broke out there, the government in Juba decided to take on the services of two lobbyists in the United States.
The purpose is to improve Juba’s image with the Americans and put its viewpoint on the negotiations now under way, with African mediation, between the South Sudan government and former Vice President Riek Machar’s rebel movement.
On 5 March, Minister at the presidency Awan Guol Riak hired the services of K. Riva Levinson’s firm KRL International to develop communication with “the American government, the community of international donors, the media, NGOs and multilateral institutions” in order to support “The Republic of South Sudan government’s efforts to consolidate peace, reconciliation and development priorities”.
KRL will also have the job of encouraging direct communication between the American government and Juba.
Ms Levinson is an Africa specialist and is an advisor to Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and to the government of Sierra Leone. KRL is a member of the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) and has had a strategic partnership with Africapractice since 2012.
Separately, on 1 March Jackson Ajou, an executive officer to the South Sudan government’s director general, took on the services of Podesta Group headed by Kimberley Fritts, to advise Juba on its policy regarding the United States and help it expand its contacts with the members of Congress, the press and NGOs. This is a one year contract, costing $120,000 per quarter payable in advance plus expenses of up to $2000 a month.
Founded by the Democrat strategist Anthony Podesta, who has good contacts in the White House and with the Democratic majority in the Senate, the Podesta group also acts for other countries in the Horn of Africa.
Last year it won a contract with the government of Somalia and the Central Bank of Somalia to provide strategic advice and improve links with the United States.
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